18 Weeks: Must Haves

Building a baby wish list is daunting. The essentials are simple: a place for the baby to sleep, a few sets of clothes, a carseat, diapers.

But what about all the gear that just makes mom and dad’s lives easier?

Boppies, swings, bouncers, gliders, carriers, pack n plays, breast pumps…..what do you really need?


Here is a list of “New Mom Must Haves” from blogs across the internet that friends have shared with me. They have been so helpful to read while creating a registry. Please add your own in the comments – I’m hoping to turn this post into a permanent page!

New Mom Must Haves

Sistas of Strength

Live To Eat Run For Fun

The Splattered Apron

A Cup Of Jo

Viva Catalina

Living Like The Kings

Lucie’s List

A Healthy Slice Of Life

The Shu Box


Rhodey Girl Tests

The Concrete Runner

This Runners Trials

Keeper Of The Home

Daily Garnish

Oh Joy!

(Never Home) Maker

Young House Love

And two awesome Pregtastic podcasts:

Baby Bargains Episode

Baby Carries Episode


61 thoughts on “18 Weeks: Must Haves”

  1. I am 13weeks along and it has been so fun to follow along just behind you. I imagine wanting to return to this page many times as the baby grows and changes. Please please turn this into a permanent page! And the comments from other new mom’s are priceless! Thank you for doing all the groundwork.

  2. So far, we can’t go a day without our bouncer and swing for naps. We have the my little snuggabunny by fisher price. I also love the baby bjorn for outdoor walks. I have the boppy for feedings and fill in the hole with a blanket. It also helps cradle him and i pull the blanket to raise or angle him. I also love sleep gowns for newborn stage sleeping and Velcro swaddles. I use the freestyle pump and like it a lot! I have the boppy newborn lounger too but like the other places for naps right now. He seems to like movement more to fall asleep at this stage.

  3. I got a breastpump as a gift the first time around, but I was able to bring my son to work so I only used 1-2 times. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on one unless you’ll be working away from your child!

  4. My co-sleeper was a lifesaver. Other things we used a lot were bouncy seat, Ergo, side snap t-shirts (you don’t want to pull a pee soaked onesie over your newborn’s head in the middle of the night), and toys to engage baby– things that are black and white especially in those first few weeks. 2 of my 3 babies were spitters so I used at least 2 dozen cloth diapers with them for my shoulders lap etc. Isn’t it so exciting to dream about using all these goodies soon with your son?!

  5. Fugget about the co-sleeper – this is the new & improved version! Baby can sleep all scrunched up on a gentle incline (the way they like) and remain safely on their back, without worry of them shifting or flipping. So much better than letting your baby sleep in their car seat (like millions of kids, including mine did). Super portable, folds flat, can put it right next to your bed for night time and move it around the house during the day. Reduces the feed, burp, lay down, spit-up-all-over-everything cycle. Not to mention, it’s cheap 🙂


      1. I LOVE this product! I have the snugabunny style one (a little more expensive but it matches my swing and bouncy seat haha anal much? I also like the neutral color). My 4 week old daughter loves this and spends the night in it since about 2 wks. Before that she was in bed w me bc she hates the crib at this young age and I didn’t want a bassinet. This cradle is narrow enough to snuggle her all comfy cozy like she would be in our arms. We don’t have issues w the flat head, she just sleeps in the cradle and we use the bobby newborn lounger, snugabunny bouncy seat, snugabunny swing or my arms for hanging. You should look into it kath! (And anyone else!)

        1. I’m reading some of the reviews about babies getting flat spots on their heads from this product…anyone heard any research on that?

          1. I saw this 2-in-1 swing & seat at a store and I wished it would have been around when our babies were little. Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge of this seat?

            As far as flat spots on their heads goes, it seems like it’s almost inevitable these days with the “back to sleep” campaign. Although, our babies hated sleeping on their backs, so I would lay them on their sides. :/

            1. I agree with Sara, I think that many babies get a flat spot, regardless of the product that they sleep in. My nephew has one. I think alot depends on how they sleep. Like if they turn their head to the side or not.

              1. Our baby boy slept in this for the first 3 months. We had it next to our bed the first 6 weeks and them moved it into him room. It’s very light and portable so you can bring it in the bathroom when you shower, etc. I would highly recommend it!

                1. My daughter had the beginnings of a flat spot at 3 months old from sleeping on her back…at four months old she decided to become a stomach sleeper and I decided that was OK b/c she was SLEEPING and she is now 10 months and there is no sign of the flat spot!
                  I wish I had that…looks awesome! It looks like it would work for traveling too!

          2. As long as you don’t move your baby from where he sleeps, to the bouncer, to the swing, to the car seat, to the stroller back to the car seat, back to the swing, etc. flat spots can be avoided.

            Car seats are necessary, swings can be a life saver, but babies need to be on their stomachs, up over our shoulders, and they just need to be held.

            Not only are flat spots a worry, sensory integration disorder seems to have links to “bucket baby syndrome”

            (Baby wearing is great for them to develop their neck strength and core muscles, the Moby was great till she was about 4 months, then my favorite way to wear my daughter was the Babyhawk Mei Tai, my husband preferred the hand me down Ergo)

          3. It does tend to cause flat spots simply because you can’t rotate the position of the baby. My cousin’s daughter got a big ol’ flat spot from sleeping in one of these. With a bassinet/cosleeper/crib, you can change the positioning of the baby to help prevent flat spots. One night you place the baby with his head facing north, the next night you put him down facing south, etc. My son slept in a bassinet right beside our bed until he was almost five months old. I would rotate him around the mattress like the hands on a clock, so that he was in a slightly different position every night. His head is nice and round with not even a hint of a flat spot.

  6. Oh, boy! You’re going to get some looong comments on this one! 🙂 I just happen to have the list I sent to my friend of things to have when baby is born…

    Car seat, baby carrier (I loved my sling because I could breastfeed anywhere), bassinet/co-sleeper, diapers, baby wipes, diaper champ, diaper rash ointment, changing pad(s) (we kept a thin one in our room for middle-of-the-night changings while the babies were small and still sleeping in our room), baby bathtub, hooded towels, babywash, plain old cloth diapers to use as burp cloths, baby thermometer, baby nail clippers, infant tylenol/advil, pacifiers (even if you don’t think you’ll use them, the nights get really long when you don’t have many options to stop a crying baby), Mylicon (see pacifiers), swaddling blankets (see pacifiers), vibrating bouncy seat (see pacifiers), breast pump, nursing pads, nursing pillow, bottles, microwave sterilizer, phone number for lactation consultant.

    Can’t wait to read what everyone else says. It’s really different for everyone and different for each baby, too, so I promise you’re going to get lots of differing advice on this one! 🙂

  7. If you get a swing (I am torn on if it is a must have b/c my son hated it but my daughter loves it), look on Craigslist. I got one in amazing condition for $40 (Fisher Price). Also see if you can find one that plugs in, I am finding myself spending a small fortune on batteries as of late. 🙂

  8. Yes to those side snapping tshirts for the very early days. Our hospital gave us a bunch but we were still washing them constantly because he lived in those and a diaper and a swaddle blanket until the cord stump fell off. I used the heck out of my breast pump but it just goes to show everyone and every baby is different.
    Enjoy the planning!

  9. Thanks so much for this list! I am 16.5 weeks now so following your blog (as we are due around the same time) has been AMAZING!! Looking forward to hearing about all your preggo/baby discoveries!

  10. One thing that I still check every night when putting my 2 year old to bed is the Vicks Humidity Monitor. It shows you the temperature and humidity in the room. It also has a chart showing what level of humidity is too dry, normal and good for coughs and colds. I buy it for anyone I know that is expecting. It is around $15 at Babies R us.

  11. Loved our swing and wubbanub pacifier. The ergo is our fav carrier – not too girly and great for the dad. We coslept and/or used the crib from the beginning. No bassinet. I rented hosp grade pump and it was wonderful – much quieter than the pump n style which I also had (more portable for trips). For sleep we followed dr. Weissbluth’s advice and we now have a GREAT sleeper. Swear by his book!

  12. my brest friend (not the boppy) for the early days and something about a wipe warmer…some may seem it a luxury but for 19.99 to take the edge off a freezing cold wipe at 3am on a little butt…well, it could prevent a screamfest. Well worth it 🙂 And I used mine for both cloth wipes (when I was CD’ing) and also disposable wipes.

      1. Totally agree with the wipe warmer. This was an item I sent my husband out to buy after one night at home. Made a HUGE difference.

        1. It is great for cloth wipes. Just get them damp with water and stick ’em in. You’ll always have a damp cloth wipe ready to go when you need it!

  13. I absolutely think a baby carrier is a need. I would skip most other baby products for one of these. I still wrap my 2.5 year old on with a Didymos wrap. It’s super versatile and super amazing to snuggle up with your babe. I’m a small lady and the ergo was way too big and bulky on me – wrapping allowed me the flexibility to get a really comfy carry for me and my baby.

  14. Well, it looks like all those blogs cover it all, haha! I stressed over the crib only to not use it until my little girl was a year old and then, we ended up putting her in a toddler bed at two anyways. I made my own changing table setup so I never bought a “real” one. Looking back, I would have bought a couple more nursing bras because they were invaluable (and nursing pads to sop up leaks). I really enjoyed smelling my baby after her bath so a great smelling shampoo/body wash is essential, I recommend Method and California Baby. Since my little girl had colic, I tried all sorts of remedies to help soothe her and the only product I can recommend is Gentle Naturals Tummy Soother. I didn’t use a diaper bag for a long time and instead just used my big purse but when she started eating solids and I was having to carry snacks and stuff with me, I really loved my Mrs. Smith’s diaper bag and in fact, still use it! (http://www.mrssmithsbags.com/) I was given a great little record book at my hospital to track feedings, diapers, etc. and I really loved it but I believe there are all sorts of apps for that sort of thing now, which might be easier. Although, I have kept my book since it had places to write fun new things the baby did during a certain week, etc, so I want to look back on it one day!

    Happy baby shopping 🙂

  15. What I want to know is, what is the best diaper bag for cloth diapers? I bought a Petunia Picklebottom Shoulder Bag- (http://www.petunia.com/bags/shoulder-bags/cobaltroll) used for 50 dollars off of Craigslist. This was a TOTAL impulse purchase for me, based solely on how much I a) love bags and b) loved this particular bag (I have a different print than the link). But in my research on cloth, it seems like it might not be big enough. I also have a lap top bag, that i love, that i am thinking of using as a diaper bag, but I have also heard to just buy a big ol tote that you love, and then make it work as a diaper bag.
    Anyone have any insights on that?

  16. Hey Kath – My baby is about 18 weeks now and I have just a couple of thoughts suggestions. My husband is a chiropractor and he gets lots of moms as patients. The infant seats are really convenient but tough on shoulders and backs. Plus, it’s sometimes too easy to just leave the baby in the carrier which isn’t good for them. We went directly to the bigger car seat and we try to think of ourselves as “Kangaroo parents”. The infant car seats don’t last long anyway because the babies outgrow them quickly. We did get a cheapo seat but kept it in the trunk and only used it if we HAD to. We just transferred her to the infant seat from her regular car seat. They are a pain to carry, though, so we didn’t use it often. We just carried her.

    BTW, you look great! Such a healthy, happy pregnant woman!

    1. LOVE the idea of being kangaroo parents! We did the same but didn’t have a name for it. Got a bigger, more sturdy car seat and just tucked baby into the wrap when we got to whereever we were going. If she woke during the transfer, tucking her into the stretchy wrap next to a heartbeat usually got her back to sleep, and much better for her spine development (and my back!) than carrying her in her infant capsule.

  17. This isn’t something you can buy, but I think it’s absolutely essential baby sleep info. I never bothered to find out about baby sleep needs before I had my first and after the super sleepy first 2 weeks, things got a little crazy – I had an overtired baby and I had no idea how to help him or what his sleep needs were. I recommend reading these two posts about baby sleep to anyone I know that is pregnant. (Read the info in purple at the top of each page.)



  18. I mentioned this is a previous post but I am a big proponent of the angel care monitor. It detects movement and therefore detects if your baby is having breathing issues. It is also a sound monitor and monitors the temperature in the room. I actually turned the air down in our house last night b/c I woke up hot and then looked at the monitor and it said the girls room was 75 degrees.

    Breathable Bumpers!

    A good pump. Even if you plan to exclusively breast feed! With my second child I was a milk machine and I had to pump after she ate and then when she started sleeping longer I had to get up in the middle of the night to pump a little just to relieve the pain! Milk can stay good in the freezer for 6 months so it is not terrible to have a little stash in case you need it! DO make sure to get a good milk storage system that seals the milk tight b/c it is very easy for it to go bad if any air gets in!

    Sterilizing bags for bottles and breast pump parts…huge time saver!

    I would also mention a couple things I would not get (in my humble opinion):

    A wipe warmer – get them used to the cold ones b/c when you are out and about the wipes will be cold!

    Don’t buy a lot of bottles – your baby might prefer a specific nipple and if you buy a lot of bottles or a bottle system you might find yourself having to buy more!

    Most importantly…do what works for you! Every Momma is a first time Momma with every baby b/c no two are alike! Mine are only 17 months apart and with my second, even though it had not been that long since I had a newborn, everything was different! Trust your gut and do what works and tell everyone that you did just what they told you to do 🙂

  19. Don’t buy a pump until you check with your insurance! Ours covered mine 100% if we bought it from one of the local hospitals. Call and ask before you buy one adn then you can spend the money on cute clothes for him.

  20. Aside from the mentioned essentials, the number one thing I needed/couldn’t live without, was my carriers. Structured carriers aren’t so great, but soft carriers are amazing. I started with a Moby, and when I realized that baby wearing so worked for us, I also got a Baby K’tan, a Mei Tei, and two ring slings. I swear, my life changed when I started wearing him at about six week. I was able to do things, like eat lunch and pee and comb my hair from time to time! I was able to not only nurse in public without anyone knowing, but I didn’t even have to sit down to do it. Both the ring sling and the Mei Tei make walking around while nursing a breeze. And when he got big enough to put on my back in the Mei Tei, life was revolutionized once again. I cannot say enough good things about baby wearing!

  21. Here are the things we found most helpful that no one told us about:

    1) Travel mug- so that you can drink hot or cold beverages while holding your baby w/o spilling on him

    2) Clear plastic shower curtain- so that you can put the baby in a bouncy seat in the bathroom and take a shower and he won’t freak out because he can still see you

    3) Extra car windshield sunshade- to put over the carseat so that it doesn’t get boiling hot when you park someplace

    Here are the most helpful things that we were given:

    1) Miracle blanket- it is aptly named

    2) Weighted blanket- a friend made me one. It keeps babies from startling and waking themselves up, so they sleep longer

    3) Wubanub pacifier- this is a pacifier with a little stuffed animal attached, which makes it significantly easier to find at 3am.

    4) Clothes. I mean, obviously you need clothes, right? My point is, don’t buy them. Ask around for hand-me-downs. This applies to all baby gear. Everyone has loads of baby gear and most people are happy to pass it on.

    This is what we haven’t found helpful (but all babies are different, etc)

    1) Swing- some babies are swing babies, others are bouncy seat babies, others hate everything. I say borrow these devices from friends so you can find out. Or at least buy them used.

    2) Sling- he likes it, but it’s all of his considerable weight on one shoulder. All of this attachment parenting stuff is great, but nobody mentions the back pain. Our son weighed 20lbs at 4 months- he is tall, too, he is just a larger order of person. Anyhow, we use the carriers that distribute the weight evenly far more. The Moby is awesome, except it’s a pain to put on. Those baby bjorn type carriers are easier to put on and distribute weight well. I have found that the baby has to cooperate for the Ergo to work, and babies are not always cooperative.

    3) We never used a wipe warmer. He doesn’t seem to mind. We use cloth wipes, which are just cut up receiving blankets. I keep a spray bottle of water, witch hazel, olive oil and baby castille soap on the changing table and spray them with that.

    4) Activity mats- blankets on the floor work just fine.

    5) We got a convertible car seat to start with, but found that he couldn’t recline enough in it to be comfortable, so we ended up getting an infant car seat. Then he outgrew that by 4 months. So I don’t know what to say about that.

    1. Oh, and we never used a baby bathtub. It was so much easier to just put the baby in the bath with me.

      1. On this note, I love babywearing, LOVE, and I’m one of those weirdos who thinks strollers are more bother than they’re worth…but I have to agree with the sling thing. I can’t sling my daughter and never could; it just killed my back and shoulder. I like mei tais, wraps, and structured carriers (i.e. ergo) best.

        Also, we don’t do the baby bathtub thing either. I used a shower sling, which is the ONLY sling I could get behind. My daughter’s first bath came when she was old enough to stand up and walk around safely in the tub – around age 18 months. Much easier taking her into the shower with me than dealing with a separate bath routine.

  22. Now I’m worried about flat spots. I wasn’t too much of a worrier as a mom, but I can feel it coming on as a grandma. Guess I better check out some of the grandma sites!

  23. Not gonna lie, so totally stoked I’m on the list! Ha! I have a cloth diaper update set to post tomorrow! I am loving following your preggo journey! You are definitely glowing and totally reminding me of my pregnancy!

  24. Thanks for this post – I’ve been completely overwhelmed with all the products, and nearly had a breakdown in Babies’R’Us while I was just there “to look.” Haha, but I’m happy you’ll be adding to this page and that you linked to so many other must haves posts.

  25. Hi Kath,
    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it before, but http://www.thebabywearer.com/ is a great resource for information about baby carriers and how to use them properly. That being said, my most important piece of baby equipment is my baby carrier. That’s the only way I could go anywhere or get anything done because my babies were happiest being held. I used a sling, wrap, and Ergo and loved them all for different ages and stages. I still use my Ergo to take my 21 month old on hikes. When she gets tired of walking she happily rides on my back. 🙂 Good luck, it can be very overwhelming! But start simple and you will find your way and figure out what you need.

  26. This is exactly what I have needed! I have been searching for days and its like you knew! Thank you!! I LOVE your blogs! I am 21.5 weeks and love tracking with you 🙂 Congratulations!!

  27. I love both your blogs. keep it up and congrats. But can I just say that the ads on this website are just plain annoying.

  28. Hi. We got a baby bean bag, which is a bean bag with a harness on for when the baby is really small, then when they are toddlers you can take off the harness and it becomes a normal beanbag. Great for putting them down somewhere safe, and is soft so helps avoid flat head. Another essential piece of equipment which we could not have done without is our flat head pillow. Only got it at three months when DS got a flat head (not from being lying down all the time but because he was premature, had poor muscle tone and an unusually large head so could not lift his head unaided until about 12 months old and he preferred always facing the same way so flattened one side). The flat head pillow rounded it out perfectly within two months. There is a great website with lots of info and tips on how to prevent and treat baby flat head, which I followed, http://babyflathead.co.uk

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